LATEST..          Santa Bookings for Christmas are selling out fast - see booking page for train times and available seats          CHRISTMAS CARVERY IS NOW FULL         Looking for gift ideas?          Our SHOP is open during November on Saturdays and Sundays 10.30am until 3.30pm          or you might want to consider the ultimate gift for him - buy a FOOTPLATE EXPERIENCE VOUCHER today - date can be booked later to suit          CHRISTMAS is COMING! Our SANTA SPECIALS event fills up quickly so book your seats early to avoid disappointment          See our SANTA SPECIALS & CHRISTMAS CARVERY pages now          Also running BOXING DAY and NEW YEAR'S DAY for a wonderful way to see the New Year in!          All operating days and events can be found on our YOUR VISIT - Timetables page         
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•service update•

MON 18 DEC

No Trains Today

WE ARE NEXT OPERATING ON
Thursday 21 December

Track Pack - May 2017

June 2017 Working Weekend - Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th

A passenger service is operating on both days of this weekend but all being well this shouldn’t cause too many problems.

On Saturday the plan is to do a session of sleeper renewal on the Smallbrook section. The area in question extends from Deacon’s Lane Bridge to Ashey station. As is usually the case on a running day, this will unfortunately involve a fair bit of tool carrying between the sleepers to be changed. The plan is to reach Ashey station in time to catch the final Down train of the day, scheduled to call some time after 4.20. The morning trip to site will be by Wickham, due away from Havenstreet at 9am.

With the sleeper work hopefully completed on the Saturday a different task awaits on the Sunday. It is numbers dependent really, the routine S&T maintenance being the favourite. However if numbers are swelled a road trip to Woodhouse Crossing can be used to clear the wet bank there of bracken etc. now that the bluebells have finished for this year.

Hope to see those who can make it, 8.30am at the P.Way hut, Saturday and Sunday.  

What's Been Going On?

With the ranks depleted by another engagement, a lov(n)ely morning was spent at Wootton Station giving the surrounding banks a cut with mower or brushcutter. The arrival of a reinforcement at 1pm enabled the entire uncut area of the station to be completed by the end of the day.

A slightly larger attendance on Sunday gave the opportunity to travel to Smallbrook by Wickham to complete this year’s ration of fishplate maintenance. Smart work saw the platform road completed before the arrival of the first service train, the remaining areas being done to fit in around the passing light engines. On completion a return was made in the service train to Havenstreet, the tools etc. being unloaded onto the Down platform. The simplest means to return them to the store proving to be a quick in and out of the sidings with the Wickham and trailer. The afternoon was spent clearing the banks around Bridge Seven. As well as keeping it tidy, this assists with the regular sessions of level monitoring that are carried out here.

It was back to the brushcutters again on the Bank Holiday Monday, the banksides on the approach to Deacons Lane Bridge being the first to receive attention. It is still mostly nettles here, not much sign of the hoped for grass, though there is a bit coming through on the South facing bank. Not hampered by the grey and occasionally wet weather, the work was completed in time to get to Havenstreet for dinner at 12.30. Ever the gluttons the afternoon was used to do a similar job at Woodhouse Crossing. As well as cutting the sighting areas around the crossing, the bracken on the bank to the South-east was cleared as far back as the start of the bluebells. 
   
Many thanks for everyone’s help over the weekend. 

What Else Has Been Going On?

With the number of operating days starting to fill up the weeks, a few tasks away from the track have been carried out. Following collection of the Wickham kit from Tunbridge Wells, running days have seen some of it being steadily reassembled. The ex Chacewater Permaquip Personnel Carrier (inevitably christened LaLa II) has also received some attention, though at the moment progress appears to be in the opposite direction to the Wickham.

Mondays have remained train free till now so the opportunity has been taken to attend to some lifting and packing work with the BLH machine. Most of the level crossings have also received a visit to cut the surrounding area before it gets too high.

A small start has been made to condense down the area of ground required to store the department’s assorted goods and chattles. As a first step the S&T store has been temporarily cleared to allow racking and shelving to be installed so as to make better use of the space.

The Friday Gang have been in full cry now that the growing season is underway. After clearing a section West of Rowlands Lane Bridge they moved on to cut around Ashey Grounds crossing. The quarters adjoining Bridge 9 were the latest victim.

That’s the lot for now,

All the best,

Phil, Ian and Pete.

Join The Team

The Civil Engineering Department is responsible for all of the railway's  track, signalling equipment and lineside fencing - It's all healthy outdoor work!

Monthly working parties are organised to tackle important tasks requiring a large team, regular weekly gangs tackle lineside clearance, fencing renewals and many other maintenance tasks.  We also have our 'Friday Gang' who do a great job of keeping the lineside neat and tidy.

If you are interested in joining our team please contact the railway's Volunteer Coordinator for more details




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